X-ray analysis of manufacturing process of Ryukyu crafts

X-ray analysis of manufacturing process of Ryukyu crafts

On January 14 at Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum in Naha City, X-ray examinations using the most advanced equipment were conducted in order to examine the materials used in making particular cultural properties. A hairpin of Kikoe oogimi udun of the Ryukyu Kingdom was among the objects examined.


January 15, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

From January 12, using state-of-the-art equipment, Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum has been carrying out X-ray examinations of more than 50 pieces of crafts made during the Ryukyu Kingdom era.

On January 14, the museum disclosed the examination process to the news media. The examination aims to reveal the materials and manufacturing processes of pottery, gold works, and ceramics of the period. It is the first time in Okinawa to examine crafts stored in museums. The museum aims to exhibit restored crafts in 2019.

On January 14, a cultural asset of Okinawa Prefecture, a golden hairpin of Kikoe ookimi udun was examined. The hairpin was gilded with a mixture of gold, silver and bronze. About 20 items had been examined by January 15.

With the support of Tokyo Research Institute for Cultural Properties, the examination has been conducted with the most advanced equipment and specialists. Using the characteristic of the X-ray in which its reflection varies depending on radiated materials, the researchers analyzed the contents and dyes of the crafts.

A benefit of doing the X-ray examination includes finding materials without breaking or scraping the cultural properties. Based on the fundamental data collected from the examination, researchers analyzed colorants and manufacturing processes.

The restoring projects include war-damaged cultural properties such as Nio of Enkakuji Temple.

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana) 

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